Cameron Steele and the Desert Assassins take on the MINT 400.

March 28, 2012


Desert Assassins Monster Energy/Yokohama Tire #16 at the 2012 Mint 400 – Cameron Steele and Johnny Campbell
Desert Assassins KMC Wheels/Yokohama Tire #14 at the 2012 Mint 400 – Josh Daniel and Alan Hickerson
Desert Assassins Mint 400

The Mint 400 was an amazing race on a number of fronts and from purely a results point of view finishing 3rd in qualifying and having the 2nd fastest truck lap time in the #16 Monster Energy/Yokohama Tire truck and a 6th place finish in the KMC Wheels/Yokoahama Tire #14 truck for the Mint race were pretty solid BUT…..

Seeing the family of Desert Assassins grow and both embrace and be embraced by the racing community has translated to success for me. Winning is always the goal but on a couple of fronts I am comforted even though we didn’t win the race…..

One was to have 4 of my boys from the neighborhood there to be a part of the race. For those that don’t know there is a group of 8 ish brothers that are like my kids. Cody, Crap, Sidekick and Fluff were on hand to both race and be a part of this family of desert lovers. I miss Jeff so much that it hurts everyday and to have the other boys there and close to me, gives me peace that we are doing the right thing and it was really great. The injury to Cody at Laughlin left me crushed and crawling back into the trucks without him has been tough, we’ve been doing this for a long time together. I’m sure glad to have shared this love of the desert and Baja with them and to be able to see them enjoy and share it is great. Having my SC brother Johnny Campbell there to hold down Cody’s seat was spiritual and inspirational to say the least and he is a great in truck partner.

The second is that we have been working in unison with Yokohama Tire since 2006 to develop and build a tire that will win the Baja. Being one truck and one company has made for an interesting road but through the years we have won (at SNORE) and been on the podium at SCORE and the Mint 400 as well as having had some tough races, one time I changed 13 flats at the Baja 500. Through all of that we have grown, we now have 2 Geiser/FOX/Dougans/Rancho Drivetrain/Currie supported trucks that can and will win and Yokohama has a 40 inch race tire that is weight conscience, tough as hell and provides better grip and traction than the competition. As Andrew and Vic who have made a lot of this happen stood in the Yoko semi at the Mint Josh and I flogged the crap out of our war ships, 2nd fastest truck lap in the race for 16 and 6th in the truck race for 14, 8 laps, 704 brutal rough and rocky miles and we had zero flats. That is awesome!

Winning is the goal but along the way there is so much more. Everyone can’t be the winner, but you can spread the joy of what we do and leave a footprint of respect and honor as we strive for the top spot on the box. I feel we have won what is more important by being who we are, true to our friends, family, supporters and sponsors and a family of people that walk with honor. The results will come and go but who we are is what we should all be focused on.

I hope those of you that are involved are proud of what we have all accomplished together.

Thanks Yokohama Tire, Monster Energy Drink, KMC Wheels, Lucas Oil Products, Bullet Proof Diesel, FOX Shox, KC, Currie, Motive Gear, VP, Patrick’s Signs, Dailey Oil Pumps, Dougans Racing Engines, Rancho Drivetrain, Geiser Bros., Baja Bound Insurance, Danzio, Metal Mulisha, Golden Nugget and MasterCraft

Much love to the shop brothers who get it done…. Milkman (Chris Allen), Lobster, Emerson, Victor, Dave, Rick and the tireless volunteers that make it happen with a special shout out to Nimrod for his epic food and meal support and great parts racing in the short bus!
Important details……


·      The DA will be heavily featured in the Mint 400 TV, web and DVD coverage.

·      Josh Daniel drove all four laps in the #14 to 6th place. Officials trying to clear a wreck directed Josh to getting stuck for about 15 minutes and then a pit fueling issue were his only issues.

·      #14 had no mechanical or prep issues all day – #14 at this race was the older of the two DA trucks known as the “Cougar”.

·      #16 was 3rd quickest in qualifying and rolled across the timing line 2.5 times in that session and ended up upside down. Evidence……


Cameron (driving at the time) and Josh out of the truck after they received their “official time” while rolling across the timing stripe

·      #16 was the 2nd fastest truck on lap one but at the first fuel stop some issues were discovered. A leaking hub seal caught fire and the hub needed to be removed and have the seal, 3rd member and driveline changed. Although the crew worked feverishly after our qualifying crash the hub issue surely could have been an unseen result of the side load delivered to the truck when being flipped two days prior.

·      #16 continued after being 1:45 down and were in 9th place unofficially when a part of the drive train failed (we suspect the flex plate) with 32 miles to go in the race.

·      #14 and #16 had no flats over the 700 plus miles in some of the harshest racingconditions in off-road racing.


Next up 

  • Cameron Joins his short course family the last weekend in March at the Lucas Oil kick off event in the AZ where he will drive in the Pro-Buggy class and be the co-host of the TV efforts for Lucas Oil 
  • Baby Steele is due anytime with the projected date of April 7
  • Rip to the Tip 2011 TV premier on FUEL TV – 5 episodes every Wednesday on Fuel TV from April 11 through May 9 – with honor to Jeff
  • 2nd biggest race of the year the first Saturday in June, the SCORE Baja 500